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Smelser's embezzlement hearing is continued

January 26, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

A court hearing was continued Thursday for Brawley resident Teri Smelser, accused of embezzling about $563,000 from local organizations.

Smelser, 51, is set to return to jail court Feb. 8.

Investigators have been conducting detailed investigations into financial records concerning the alleged accounts.

State Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Smelser at her home on Brandt Road west of Brawley as she pulled into her driveway Oct. 20. She was charged with four counts of grand theft by embezzlement, six counts of grand theft by false pretenses and one count of elder financial abuse.

The money allegedly came from several accounts with which Smelser was involved, such as the Cattle Call Rodeo Committee, All Saints Episcopal Church in Brawley and the Pioneers' Museum cattlemen's gallery.

Smelser also is accused of mishandling deeds to secure personal loans from several Brawley residents in connection with her job with her father's real estate company. It is those activities from which the elder abuse charge stems. Smelser's father's real estate office in Brawley has closed.

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She remains free on bail.

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